• Prints & Multiples auction at Christies

    Sale 2309

    Prints & Multiples

    26 - 27 April 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 162


    Der Kuss (Sch. 22; W. 23b)

    Price Realised  


    Der Kuss (Sch. 22; W. 23b)
    etching and drypoint with burnisher, 1895, on wove paper, signed by the artist and the printer Wilhelm Felsing in pencil, with full margins, the palest mat staining, minor surface soiling in the lower margin, otherwise in very good condition, framed
    P. 13 3/8 x 10 7/8 in. (340 x 276 mm.)
    S. 23 1/8 x 17 in. (587 x 432 mm.)

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    Edvard Munch created Der Kuss (The Kiss) in 1895, and shortly thereafter Christiana (now Oslo) officials decreed that the work was immoral and prohibited it from exhibition. For late 19th-century middle class audiences, the image proved scandalous. Yet for Munch and his bohemian circle, the print exemplified the artist's claim: "There should be no more paintings of people reading and women knitting. In the future they [art] should be of people who breathe, who feel emotions, who suffer and love." Munch depicted the passionate embrace of two nude lovers. He went far beyond formal courting scenes or even scenes of nudes in brothels found in the work of earlier artists. This masterpiece of expressionist art presents the pinnacle of physical and emotional tension.